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Appropriate use of available land is fast becoming a concern among scientists and architects. As an increase in the population is resulting in reduced availability of free land. The people who will be most impacted by this are those living in urban cities as the number on individuals living in a smaller area is the highest there.

What is Arcology?
Paolo Soleri an Italian – American architect is one of the architects who tried to put up a solution to this brazen urban style of living by establishing a concept called Arcology. The word Arcology is made up of two words:

Arc (hitecture) + (Ec) ology = Arcology

It is the combination of architectural and ecological principles. Paolo Soleri introduced the functional architectural concepts in an organic way of life through arcology.

The challenge!
The present urban style of living and its design has in it a lot of flaws, which are:-

Arcology – A Solution...
In contrast to these challenges, Paolo Soleri developed a theory where architectural structures and the people living in them intermingle as if they are integral parts of the living organism. It meant that while lot of systems were functioning at the same time, there is a certain ecological awareness among the people with regard to themselves and the resources. This concept was called ‘City as a hill’. It involved building of mega structures, which would accommodate large number of people at a time, while eliminating the vast usage of land, making it ecologically sustainable. This concept would also help in conserving the energy and natural resources. These mega structures would be economically self contained. A good example of this was the multi purpose use of buildings along with optimum use of natural resources such as solar energy for purpose of heating, lighting and cooling. .

Existence of Arcology
As of now, arcology only exists conceptually. In the year 1970, Paolo Soleri started his experimental dream project of building a town based on the arcological principles, in the high deserts of Arizona State of USA named ‘Arcosanti’. This town when completed would provide solutions to the basic problems of over population and environmental destruction. It would also provide optimal usage of land and resources. Today though  there are certain cities which are experimenting with these principles of arcology. Few examples are the Las Vegas Strip in USA, the McMurdo Station of United States Antarctic Program in the Antarctica and Dongtan near Shanghai in China.

Mankind is today being faced with a lot of challenges and will continue to be faced with them. It is time we join our hands together and face them, so that we are able to establish more such solutions.

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